We've had a pretty good run on the ol' I'll Drink to That! so far. We've released 45 episodes already, and I'll be honest with you, that's a whole lot more than I ever dreamed we'd get to. Really the response has been very good, people are clearly listening, and that's cool. It keeps us going. But I think what genuinely keeps me interested is learning from what the guests have to say. It has been a very rewarding experience. Not a day goes by that I don't think about something a guest has said on the show. I really owe those people my thanks for sharing their time and insight. I also owe a lot of thanks to the great Matt Duckor, who has been the show's producer and behind the scenes Solomon since before the beginning. And my thanks to you all for listening.
Here are some of the guests who have been on the show recently...
Raj Vaidya of Restaurant Daniel finally explained the long simmering mystery of the 1993 Overnoy! There was also something about a moo cow wine carafe, a fax machine older than a 1985 Joly Savennieres, and the "sunshine in a bag" of chaptalization.*
Josh Raynolds of the International Wine Cellar explained just what kind of crazy person he prefers to hang out with, and it turns out that that person looks a lot like David Schildknecht. There was also a Dali quote, and a rather startling and unexpected mention of Chris Barnes. Plus a ton of years tasting wine and a lot of perspective.
John Ragan of the Union Square Hospitality Group talked about his toughest moments in the business, which included one time where not every hair on his head was set perfectly in place. Just kidding. He didn't actually say that. But he did talk about where to draw the line between leading customer taste and providing hospitable customer service, which you should definitely listen to if you are in the restaurant business because he is one of the best at it.
And Dustin Wilson of Eleven Madison Park talked about the crazy sensation of receiving 3 Michelin Stars on his second day of work. He also broke the code of silence on just how many hours sommeliers actually do work, which can be a ton. "Making it happen" might also mean sleeping on one of the banquets at work after a super long shift, and Dustin revealed which is his preferred table number for getting some Zzzz's at.
*Quote from Jeremy Seysses. Saucy Raj photograph from Thomas Schauer.